Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 10 (ANI/Xinhua): All state-owned schools across Sri Lanka reopened on Monday after being shut for over a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 2,800 people in the island country, the country's education ministry said.
Schools reopened for all grades under strict health guidelines which included students wearing face masks and maintaining hand hygiene at regular intervals. Desks in classrooms were also kept at a one metre distance and students were prohibited from playing in playgrounds or taking part in sports.
The ministry said that schools that have over 200 students will, however, hold classes on separate days in order to maintain a strict social distancing policy and to prevent a large number of students from gathering in one place at the same time.
School canteens were also not permitted to operate until confirmation from health authorities, the ministry stated.
All schools in Sri Lanka were shut in mid-March when the country detected its first local COVID-19 infection. They later re-opened for selected grades in July but were closed again following the threat of a fresh outbreak of the virus.
The education ministry said they had decided to re-open schools on Monday after no community transmission of the virus had been detected in recent weeks.
Till Monday morning, 2,844 COVID-19 patients were detected in Sri Lanka, out of which 2,593 patients had recovered and been discharged, with 11 deaths reported from the virus. (ANI/Xinhua)